How do purchases work for my customers?

When customers have questions about buying, they can always ask us for help directly at support@gumroad.com but it's also helpful to have an understanding of the buying process yourself, so you can help your customers quickly. 

So how does purchasing something through Gumroad work, exactly?

Customer do NOT need an account to buy on Gumroad

A customer can purchase on Gumroad with or without an account. If they choose to create an account, they can do so before or after their purchase. Having an account allows them to access their purchases through their Gumroad Library anytime. 

We identify customers based on the email address they enter at checkout. If they have an account, their products show up in their library. If not, they will always be able to access their content through the link in their receipt.

Sometimes they will be asked to re-enter their email address. This is an extra layer of security, making sure your product is only available to the one who bought it.

Receipts and invoices

After purchases, your customer gets a receipt with the download link to your product. 

The receipt will also hold a license key, if you create license keys for one of products. 

If they didn't get their receipt, please refer to this article. Or direct them to our customer support, and we can make sure they get it.

They can generate their own invoices through a button at the bottom of their receipt:

VAT for your customers

If they have been charged VAT, they will see it listed on their invoice. If they are a business and have a valid VAT ID, they will be able to ask for a VAT refund when they generate their invoice. All they have to do is add they VAT ID number and we will refund them the VAT.

If they are not from the EU, or if our system couldn't detect which country your customer was from, they will not see the VAT listed on their invoice. It's then not possible to ask for a VAT refund, since they didn't pay for VAT.

Also please be aware that we currently don't currently differentiate between different kinds of digital products. (For example: between "ebook" "video" and "course") This means that the general VAT rate of the country your customer comes from always applies in our system. We hope to change that in the future.

If you're a creator from Australia, we do automatically charge and remit GST if you've specified in your Settings menu that you need to charge it.

How do payments made via credit/debit cards work?

Customers can pay with various credit cards on Gumroad, either by directly entering their cards, or using Apple Pay or Google Pay. They have the option to save their card in their Gumroad account, if they have one. We automatically charge VAT, if needed, and the money without the VAT will be added to your balance. (We remit VAT for you, so you never have to deal with this on Gumroad)

For an overview of which cards we accept on Gumroad, go here.

To process payments with creditcards, we use payment processor Stripe. 

Are you a creator from the U.S., the U.K., Canada or Australia? Then we create a Stripe account for you under our Gumroad umbrella account, in order to pay out to your bank account. You don't have to manage your account, you can add any details we need in your Gumroad payout settings

If you live anywhere else, then we just use Stripe to process credit card payments for you. In this case, you will be receive payouts to your PayPal account. 

After purchases, your customer gets a receipt with the download link to your product. The receipt will also hold a license key, if you create license keys for one of products.

Creditcard sales will be added to your balance and are paid out on Fridays.

How do payments made through PayPal work?

Customers can also choose to pay with PayPal. Again, we will add VAT to this purchase if the customer is from the EU. We will remit this for you and the VAT will not touch your accounts. 

For PayPal payments from customers, we use PayPal Connect. Sales made through PayPal will be paid out to your PayPal account, directly. For this to work in your account, you have to connect PayPal Connect, once and only once, in your "payments" settings

In your PayPal account, you will see a "partner fee" line for every PayPal Connect sale. This is our fee that we add for every sale you make. It also includes any VAT if that has been charged, which - as stated above - is remitted for you.

You will see your PayPal Connect sales on your balance page. There is a line in your balance called "PayPal Payouts." This money has already been paid out to you, so it does not count towards your payouts on Fridays. 

If you have not connected PayPal Connect, your customers will not be able to pay via PayPal. 

Read our article on PayPal Connect for a more thorough rundown

You customer will get a receipt with the download link, and will appear in your customer dashboard. Please be aware that the email address the customer uses to pay for the product on Gumroad may be different from the email address they use for their PayPal.

If you're a creator in another country than the U.S., the U.K, Canada and Australia, and you've connected to PayPal connect, then you can expect two kinds of PayPal payouts:

1. The single payments made directly to your PayPal account when someone buys using PayPal.
2. The payouts from Gumroad for credit card sales.

Why do purchases fail?

There are instances where a purchase is attempted and fails. This can happen for multiple reasons, but:

The most common reasons are:

  • Customers do not have enough funds on their card.
  • Their bank declines the payment. In this case they need to ask their bank to "whitelist" Gumroad so a payment can be made.
  • Their browser or IP address is throwing up red flags with our purchase system. They need to reach out to support@gumroad.com so we can unblock them, manually.

How can I make a test purchase on one of my own products?

Sometimes you want to see how a purchase goes and how your files are delivered to your customers. We get it! First, a word of caution: please don't actually pay for your own products! As logical as this type of action is, our payment processors will see this as a type of "fraud."

So, to enable you to test out purchases on your own products, we have created a nifty Test Purchase function in Gumroad:

How to do this? First go to your product's Preview page by clicking the diagonal arrow next to your product's name on the Products tab. Then, enter your information into the payment form as if you were a buyer.

When your test purchase is complete, you will receive emails notifying you of both your sale and your purchase. This test sale will not be displayed in your Customers tab alongside your other sales.

If you want to see Gumroad through the eye of your customer, then consider getting some of our free demo products here. They will be added to your library and you can get a feel for the customer journey.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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